New BMW team boss Davide Tardozzi believes returning double World Superbike champion James Toseland has 'lost something' during his two seasons in MotoGP.

Toseland rode for Tardozzi during the Italian's long reign as head of the factory Ducati team, which came to a surprise end after the 2009 season.

Tardozzi caused controversy, among British fans at least, due to a somewhat subdued reaction when Toseland snatched the 2004 crown from team-mate Regis Laconi at the Magny-Cours season finale.

Both Toseland and Laconi lost their Ducati seats at the end of the following year, although speculation suggested that Toseland would not even have been retained for 2005 had he not taken the title.

Regardless, the Englishman is now one of only two riders - the other being 2010 Tardozzi rider Troy Corser - to win the WSBK championship for two different manufacturers, having rebuilt his reputation during two successful seasons at Ten Kate Honda in 2006 and 2007.

That 2007 title paved the way for Toseland's MotoGP move, but a difficult second season in grand prix - where he failed to beat his best rookie finish of sixth - saw Toseland forced out of Tech 3 Yamaha and heading back to WSBK, with the victorious factory Yamaha squad.

The combination of a former double world champion and the bike that took the 2009 title with Ben Spies is seen by many as a recipe for success - but Tardozzi isn't so sure.

"James Toseland is a question mark to me," the official WSBK website quotes Tardozzi as saying. "I know James very well and he needs to find something that at this stage he has lost, in the last two years I guess. He is a good rider. When he proves that he gets his confidence back, for sure he will fight for the podiums."

Tardozzi seems to have more confidence in Toseland's rookie team-mate, and reigning WSS champion, Cal Crutchlow, whom he ranks alongside Ten Kate's 2009 race winner Jonathan Rea and just behind his three title favourites - Max Biaggi and Tardozzi's 2009 riders Noriyuki Haga and Michel Fabrizio.

"I expect a big fight between 'the Italians' - by that I mean Biaggi and Aprilia versus both top Ducati riders - and Johnny Rea and Cal Crutchlow behind them," he said. "I am so, so confident for Cal."

In terms of his expectations for the factory BMW team, entering its second WSBK season in 2010, new boss Tardozzi is 'betting' on getting Corser and Ruben Xaus back on podium.

"For me our point zero will be after the Portimao tests. Then we will see how the gap is between the rest of top guys and us. From there we really start," he explained.

"I know both of our riders have the talent to do it. I really feel it will be a huge part of my job to bring back those riders, and motivate my riders, Troy and Ruben. That was a huge bet that I made with myself, saying that I need to get back those guys on the podium.

"I see from midseason until the end, us fighting sometimes for the podium and maybe, maybe, doing something better."

BMW took a best race finish of fifth, with Corser, during 2009.

The Portimao tests take place from January 22-24.